Lee Center Winter Shelter 2020-2021 FAQs

Page updated on Oct 22, 2020 at 4:53 PM

What is a Winter Shelter?
Winter Shelter, also called Hypothermia Shelter, ensures that guests have a warm, clean and safe environment to retreat from the elements of winter. Winter Shelter also provides supportive services and resources necessary to assist an individual in obtaining stable housing.  

What days and hours will the shelter operate?
Winter Shelter will be open daily from November 1- - April 15; hours of operation are 7 p.m. - 7 a.m.  

Who will be served?
Any single adult resident experiencing homelessness in the City of Alexandria can access the Winter Shelter.

How many people will be coming to the Winter Shelter?
Up to 32 single adults will be served at the Lee Center by 14 staff persons.

What experience does Carpenter’s Shelter have in operating winter shelters?
Carpenter’s Shelter has operated the City of Alexandria’s Winter Shelter for more than 20 years.  

Why was the Lee Center site selected?
The Lee Center site was selected because it provides space that allows for appropriate physical distancing and air ventilation for guests and staff, as required by the Centers for Disease Control, as well as an isolation space for any guests who may develop a fever or fall ill during their stay.

With existing shelters in Alexandria, why do we need this Winter Shelter at Lee Center?
Existing shelters in Alexandria target different groups, such as families who are homelessness, and they often fill up. The Winter Shelter at Lee Center will provide a place for any adults without housing to go at night to be safe from the dangerous weather elements.

Are there admission and eligibility criteria for staying at the Winter Shelter?
The only eligibility criteria for those who need to access Winter Shelter is that they are experiencing homelessness. All guests, as well as staff, will participate in a COVID-19 screening upon arrival.  

What transportation is available for individuals to access the Winter Shelter and to travel to their daily activities?
The Winter Shelter staff will pick up guests at locations throughout Old Town Alexandria and transport them to the Lee Center in the evening. In the mornings, the Winter Shelters guests will be transported back into town to Carpenter’s Shelter Day program, David’s Place.   

What kinds of support or services will be offered through the Winter Shelter?
Guests are provided case management services with a focus on obtaining housing. The guests are also provided referrals for therapeutic care, social services, medical care, education, employment support and other community resources.  

How will the Winter Shelter be staffed?
The Winter Shelter is managed by a coordinator, who works with a case manager and 12 support staff on-site while the program is operating.  

What experience and qualifications do staff have?
The Winter Shelter staff have years of experience working with the homeless population. Half of the staff have worked two or more seasons specifically at the City of Alexandria’s Winter Shelter. All staff are trained in non-violent intervention, CPR and de-escalation techniques as well as COVID-19 safety precautions.

What safety measures have been put in place during the operation of the program?
There are security cameras throughout the center that Winter Shelter staff will monitor. The Winter Shelter guests are limited to one area of the Center and one area of the grounds, always with staff supervision. Rounds are conducted by shelter staff from 7 p.m.- 7 a.m. every thirty minutes to ensure that nobody is in need of assistance. In addition, the Lee Center Recreation staff are be on-site until 9 p.m. during the week and a security guard will monitor the facility once the Center staff leaves.  

How do I report any concerns or ask questions?
If you have questions or concerns about the Winter Shelter, please contact Coordinator Denise Zeigler at 703.477.5773 or Director of Programs Blair Copeland at 703.548.7500 ext. 219. If you would like to reach the City regarding the City property, call 311 or 703.746.4311 weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon (except City holidays). You can also contact Alex311 online at alexandriava.gov/Alex311 or use Contact @AlexandriaVA311 on Twitter or Facebook.  

How can I be a good neighbor and support the Winter Shelter?
Please share information about the Winter Shelter to anyone in need. Also, be kind and/or respectful towards any new faces you may see in the neighborhood.  

How can I support homelessness initiatives in the City of Alexandria?
Consider learning more and joining the Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness (PPEH). The PPEH and its sub-groups strive to ensure the planning, coordination and implementation of an effective and efficient continuum of care to prevent and end homelessness in the City of Alexandria.  Email ppeh@alexandriava.gov for more information or find PPEH online at alexandriava.gov/DCHS under “DCHS Boards, Committees and Commissions” on the side menu.

Thank you for your interest and support of our fellow residents.